Indian Entrepreneurs Magazine on this women’s day is featuring the Top 15 Promising Women Entrepreneurs who have been actively contributing to India’s business ecosystem and inspiring more women to follow their dreams.
Our vision is to create an ecosystem for all the emerging entrepreneurs to connect, communicate and collaborate through this platform. Every issue of Entrepreneur is as inspirational as it is informational, covering what inspires entrepreneurs as well as what they need to know to succeed is the primary context of IEM.
Beyond a digital magazine, we are a community. We are in the process of creating a relevant and reliable digital hub, where we empower entrepreneurs to connect, to learn how to face business challenges head-on and persevere.
1. Vani Kola
Founder, Kalaari Capital
Vani Kola is a venture capitalist, founder, and managing director of Kalaari Capital.
She spent 22 years in Silicon Valley and founded two companies – Rightwork and Certus software. On her return to India, she started her career as a venture capitalist and partnered with NEA (New Enterprise Associates). Kalaari Capital commenced its operations in September of 2012, with a 150-million dollar fund.
Vani is known for her support of the e-commerce sector in India. Her early investments in Flipkart, Myntra, and others are proof indeed. Vani is also on the board of successful startups like Dream11, Snapdeal, and Urban Ladder.
She was listed as one of the most powerful women in the Indian Business world by Fortune India. She has won the NDTV Women of Worth award for entrepreneurship and TiE Delhi-NCR 5th Edition of women Entrepreneurship Summit Award.
2. Suchi Mukherjee
Founder & CEO of Limeroad
Suchi Mukherjee is an Indian woman entrepreneur, who started an online clothing and lifestyle accessories marketplace named Limeroad.
She has always aspired to build a business that relies on simple and yet powerful products.
With a Master’s degree in Finance from The Economic school in London and equipped with nearly 18 years of experience of being in the top management of leading consumer technology businesses, Suchi Mukherjee explored the entrepreneurship path while she was on maternity leave.
Today, she has been awarded on several occasions, some of them being the Coolest Start-up of the Year by Business Today, Infocom Woman of the Year– Digital Business, and Unicorn Start-up Award by NDTV.
Furthermore, she is the only Indian to receive the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholarship for studying Economics at Cambridge University in 1994.
3. Neelam Seolekar
Managing director of O Hotel, The Oxford Group
Neelam Seolekar is considered among the most successful women hoteliers in India.
Since early childhood, she was deeply motivated to follow her passion to be an entrepreneur especially in the field of hospitality. Gradually with time, effort and dedication, she succeeded in building up her own business.
Today, with her incrementing success rate, she is counted as one of Pune’s most socially influential women. With increasing fame, Neelam continued to quench her thirst for touching new horizons. She has also been recognized for her noble initiatives with a motive to promote women’s empowerment on numerous occasions
Recently, she joined hands with Prabha Khaitan Foundation to promote regional language authors through a nationwide author talk series with thought-provoking discussions.
4. Pooja Shah
MD, MIDAS School of Entrepreneurship
With an entrepreneurial DNA that defines strategic planning and decision making, Pooja has been at the helm of leading MIDAS towards accelerated growth.
While she began working at the age of 13 in her family-owned business, she went on to become the Dean of Student Activities at FLAME University at the young age of 21. MIDAS has been the crowned jewel that has been shaped and nourished under the direction of Ms. Pooja Shah. Her astounding abilities to build relationships with people, understand and develop them have led to the creation of some extraordinary entrepreneurs in the last five years at MIDAS.
With MIDAS being an ecosystem for entrepreneurship, Pooja has employed all her prior experience and education of Masters in Entrepreneurship from Nottingham University in creating the same. With a stronghold on the journey of an entrepreneur to the experience that every person is provided while at MIDAS, Pooja has created a vision of empowering the students and business owners not just with a business but of a lifetime achievement.
Pooja Shah has been an exemplary leader as the family-owned enterprise has given her experience of working across industries and businesses. A serial entrepreneur who has developed skills on the go, Pooja is bestowed with the finesse of driving people and businesses through challenges and being the torchbearer of education in entrepreneurship. All her abilities as a Personal Mastery coach and entrepreneur culminate into a beautifully designed program called Transcend. This is a masterclass where students get in touch with their real selves, their environment, and emotions, which propels them to take charge and move ahead in all aspects of life.
With a global perspective for an Indian business, Pooja is spearheading MIDAS towards a bright future of the entrepreneurial revolution.
5. Khushboo Jain
Co-Founder and COO, ImpactGuru.com
Khushboo Jain co-founded Impact Guru and leaped into the entrepreneurial life with a mission to help India’s crowdfunding startup scenario.
She works as the COO of the company and leads the marketing arm, communication, and design teams. Khushboo has vast educational experience.
She studied Business Management from Sydenham College, Mumbai, then earned an MBA in Marketing from Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research.
She has even studied fashion marketing at the London College of Fashion and at Parsons.
She featured in the fortune 40 under 40 lists in India and was amongst the Top 15 winning women entrepreneurs at the 2019 Women Transforming India Awards NITI Aayog & United Nations.
6. Ruby Jagrut
Founder – Abir Space
Ruby Jagrut is known for her art in natural dyes. As a proud disciple of illustrious textile designer and artist Toofan Rafai, she carries the mantle of his approach and philosophy.
She has been a mentor, trainer, teacher, and resource person to many young artists and textile students in various prestigious institutes. Her work has been prominently displayed and praised at over 50 art shows. Her pursuit is to practice, protect, promote and preserve this rich heritage of colours that we have inherited.
She frequently shares her views in newspapers on topics related to gender, art, and mythology. She is on the board of the liberal arts department of Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gandhinagar. She has also curated and designed this book of Art | Poetry Kuchh Nahin | Sab Kuchh. (written by Nidheesh Tyagi). She has curated a painting exhibition of legendary Muzaffar Ali – (artist, filmmaker) at Ahmedabad.
She started with the idea of Abir to help young artists and showcase their promising work. Besides the field of natural dyes, she is also a compelling writer, philanthropist, and curator. She founded Abir India foundation in 2016.
She founded Abir Space (2021) with a view to showcasing Indian art with a newer sensibility to the world. Ms. Jagrut has been involved in the field of art in various capacities for the last 20 years now.
Abir Space is a democratic platform that represents contemporary voices in art from all over India, including the often-forgotten hinterland of the country, which boasts of lesser-known but extremely imaginative artists with a unique aesthetic.
In order to create a buzz around Indian art, especially emerging Indian art, Abir Space launched Abir Pothi – a webzine that gives voice to unheard stories of young artists, maestros, and everything else in the national art environment
7. Bhagyashree Gandhi
Vikalpa’s Abhyudaya Global Village School
Bhagyashee has an inspiring life journey from mere existence to purposeful living. She lives in a space with 317 children, 35 adults, 45 cows, 1000 birds, and millions of honey bees. She is working as a director of Vikalpa’s Abhyudaya Global Village school.
This innovative educational institution uses sports and agriculture as tools for making students understand life in an integrated way.
The school has pulverizers, wooden oil mills, demonstration units of small enterprises so that children can imbibe and understand entrepreneurial qualities from a young age.
The school runs on the principle of affordable education for the resource deficit community using school-run enterprises which will not only generate income for the school but will give hands-on teaching to the students.
This initiative of Bhagyashree has inspired many educational institutions in urban India and has encouraged many to adopt this revolutionary measure to nurture young minds.
8. Ritu Agarwal
Managing Trustee, Wisdom High Group of Schools, Nasik.
An entrepreneur turned educationist who was recently awarded as the Education Icon by Education Today – That’s Ritu Agarwal
She started her entrepreneurial journey back in 1995 with a car rental company in Nashik called Status Car Rentals and from there went on to creating three schools in Nashik. When she began her Car Rental Company, she was the only woman in Nashik running one.
She began her journey as an educationist in 2005 by establishing Wisdom High International School. Today with her entrepreneurial acumen and incredible leadership skills, this institution hosts 3400 students.
This institution has consistently ranked No. 1 School of Nasik for the past 5 years and has won awards amongst the top 20 schools for ICSE and Cambridge curriculum.
9. Meghna Agarwal
Packed with over 14 years of experience in HR, consulting, commercial real estate, and manufacturing, Meghna is a co-founder of IndiQube.
She holds an MBA in Finance from IMT and a company secretary degree. She stumbled upon the idea when she had to tell entrepreneurs to vacate the space that they were sub-leasing with them.
They were upset about this because while there, they got to enjoy benefits like gym, food, transport and IT. This led her and her co-founder to build a flexible workspace with options of such benefits without needing to rent the whole space.
10. Priyanshi Patel
Director – N. K. Proteins Pvt Ltd / Olixir Gourmet Oils
Priyanshi has lived her life considering it to be an adventure, rather than only being a normal rich kid on the Chosen One’s Chair. Being drawn towards multiple interests like reading, cinema, arts, photography; Priyanshi is a dynamic powerhouse that works for social causes with equal fervor.
She had been the Vice President of an internationally recognized company, the experience of which has helped her achieve the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award by Globoil in 2013. Being the driving force behind the launch of a project in Singapore aimed towards marketing and business development, Priyanshi has worked hard to enhance her business in the South East Asian market.
Due to her proactive approach to augment her business offerings, Priyanshi has introduced value-added products in the company. She believes in customers’ need identification and addresses the same by introducing apt methods and processes. Thus, positioning her company on the global map in one of the most unique ways.
Being the managing trustee of the Karma Foundation, Priyanshi aims at focusing on holistic community development. Designed to help young people develop life skills, Karma aims to empower youth and maximize their potential. It works towards paving an inspiring path for youth by eliminating barriers and by providing the right kind of resources. Understanding the massive importance of how much impact youth can make in society, Priyanshi maneuvers the young citizens towards constructive thinking by introducing suitable platforms at Karma.
For her efforts and initiatives, she’s been given the highest state honor GLORY OF GUJARAT, and recently given the prestigious title of Bharat Ki Lakshmi by the Government of India.
She is credited with being the first female President of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization for the Gujarat Chapter, also becoming Area Director in 2019-20. She has been the first female Chairperson of the Youth Wing of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Priyanshi is striving hard to accomplish innovative projects directed towards the enhancement of humanity.
11. Dipti Kenia
Her journey with Sachmaas began way back in 2003 with just 13 students in Mulund. Today Sachmaas is considered among the fastest-growing educational institutions that mainly focus on creative writing, reading enhancement, and phonics.
She has dedicated two decades to nurture and hone the skills of young minds. This woman-led startup focused on training students to be from ordinary writers to extraordinary writers.
Here, she has focused on developing creativity in students that builds long-term success for life in the areas of expression, problem-solving, innovation, as well as faster and more effective learning.
12. Riddhee Gosar Savla
Director – A. B. Rolling Mills Pvt. Ltd.
Riddhee’s never give up attitude empowered her to join her family business and scale it up to the next level. Today A. B. Rolling Mills Pvt. Ltd. is considered among the top OEM manufacturers of stainless-steel cookware in India.
Having started with a team of just 100 people, today the number has scaled up to 650. This enterprise reaffirmed Riddhhee as a peoples person.
Now Riddhee is all set to commence her very own cookware brand nationwide.
13. Nidhi Agarwal
Founder – Book a workshop
She started her entrepreneurial journey at the age of 17 and a half when she launched a promotion company called Fitoor Inc.
She ran the company successfully for 6 years and helped more than 55 brands and individuals reach their true brand potential. She created an event brand called Cafe Crawl to encourage brand activations through socio-cultural events in smaller cities.
Over three seasons, it was able to reach out to more than 10,000 students/ young professionals and help activate 20 different brands. She founded ‘Book A Workshop’ in June 2020, India’s fastest growing edutainment platform that hosts learning experiences driven by experts and celebrities.
They have been able to garner 15,000 learners from 175 cities across 35 countries within a span of 8 months.
14. Disha Jain
Founder at Disha Cooking Studio
To follow her passion she completed her culinary classes from Raipur. It didn’t end there, excelling in every aspect, she has also learned the baking arts.
She always wanted to be a teacher by profession and to make her inner voice work, she started her cooking class with a single student, which gradually gained popularity (undoubtedly the finest taste worked) and now hundreds have learned this art of cooking from Disha Cooking Studio.
She says, “Art is something which needs practice and continuous experimentation”, thus evolving her into a successful businesswoman.
She started her career from a corporate order and managed to raise her own bar by training more than 12 cafeterias, conducting several staff training sessions, workshops on hospitality, and being a major supplier to many of the cafes.
In her spare time, Disha loves to beautifully paint her feelings and thoughts on canvas. She is a woman who is in a flourishing society with exemplary taste and good students.
Founder, Himani’s Happiness Hub
Himani is considered among the top 5 mind trainers in India.
Her inspiring journey began a decade ago from the streets of Ahmedabad. Today she is recognized as a ‘Global Mind Trainer’.She has trained more than 8 Lakh people globally thereby earned the title of lady mind trainer.
She founded Himani’s Happiness Hub with the motive of spreading happiness worldwide. She feels love is the medicine for all the problems that the world is facing right now.
Himani has mastered the art of pranic healing and has played a vital role in strengthening the underprivileged segment of the society- emotionally and spiritually.